National Crime Agency
Oral Answers to Questions — Home Department
2:30 pm

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Theresa May (The Secretary of State for the Home Department; Maidenhead, Conservative)

We are on course to establish the National Crime Agency in 2013, subject to the passage of legislation. To drive early progress, work on the four operational commands is under way. The Organised Crime Co-ordination Centre, which is part of the intelligence

hub, is now established, and the UK cyber-security strategy sets out the role of the cybercrime unit. Keith Bristow, the NCA director general, is in post and will drive progress further.

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Stephen Mosley (City of Chester, Conservative)

One of the concerns raised when the Home Secretary announced the launch of the NCA in the summer was about the future of the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre. Is my right hon. Friend confident that CEOP’s role in protecting children will be enhanced and improved by its inclusion in the NCA?

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Theresa May (The Secretary of State for the Home Department; Maidenhead, Conservative)

I am grateful to my hon. Friend for raising an issue that was raised when the NCA was announced. I am pleased to say that CEOP is indeed one of the commands in the National Crime Agency. Peter Davies, the chief executive office of CEOP, has made it clear that

“we know that we will go into that future”—

that is, as part of the NCA—

“with our brand, purpose and operating model intact.”

Indeed, Peter Davies sits on the programme board and will work closely with Keith Bristow on the agency’s operating model. As part of the NCA, CEOP will not only be able to continue doing what it does today, but will be able to enhance its work, improving the vital work of protecting children.

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Keith Vaz (Leicester East, Labour)

The Home Secretary will recall that on 21 October she wrote to me saying that she would write to the Select Committee on Home Affairs shortly with the full details of which functions would be transferred from the National Policing Improvement Agency to the National Crime Agency. It is now six weeks since that letter, and in 12 weeks’ time the NPIA will be abolished. When will she be in a position to write to me with a full list of the functions that will be transferred, or will she accept the Committee’s recommendation that she should delay the NPIA’s closure until all the functions are properly transferred?

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Theresa May (The Secretary of State for the Home Department; Maidenhead, Conservative)

The right hon. Gentleman may have misspoken in his question. He referred to the NPIA closing in 12 weeks. It will not be closing in 12 weeks: we have already made it clear that the NPIA will be closed by the end of December 2012, to allow time for the full and proper transfer of its functions, where necessary, to other organisations. We will inform Parliament of the transfer of those functions shortly.